What are the practical differences between a 29" touring unicycle and 29"muni?

I use my own 24" (UDC Club) mainly for getting around. But I find it is too small and want something bigger that can cover more ground in each revolution and is more practical to use for commuting. I am thinking of getting a 29". I am interested in an all-rounder that can hop and allow me to eventually ride downstairs and jump down heights and ride on rough ground. But in the main I hope to use it for commuting (~2KM, eventually hoping to lengthen it). If you can provide me 29" touring or muni uni recommendations, I would be happy.

By the way, would my 24" UDC Club tolerate jumping down heights and riding down stairs?

The main differences between a road and MUni 29er are tire and crank length. On the road you want a Big Apple or Marathon Supreme, 2.0"ish slick tire, and cranks 125mm or shorter. For MUni you want a 2.3"+ knobby tire, and 150mm or longer cranks.

That said, I’ve ridden MUni on a Big Apple 2.0" with 110mm cranks, and I’ve ridden on roads with a 2.3" ExiWolf and 150mm cranks.

And no, your Club unicycle will not survive that kind of abuse.

The UDC Club uni isn’t built (or priced) to hold up to trial-type abuse, especially big drops.

Re: the differences between the 29" touring unicycle and 29" muni?

I use a 29er often for touring on roads, and I use a 29er often for muni. My road 29er is a KH29 with a road tire (in my case a Big Apple 2.0), and my muni is the same KH29 with a knobby.

The KH29 is just about bomb-proof, making it a top pick for 29er muni. But for road riding, since, as far as I know, there’s no stiffer, lighter 29er frame than the KH29, it seems perfect for that, too.

No doubt there are less expensive options, but for what you want (hops, stairs, off-road), any good muni will work great for road riding with just a tire-change.

Edit: and as tholub said, your crank length could also be modified to suit your road or muni riding.

A touring 29" would have short cranks and a smooth tyre for minimal rolling resistance.

A 29" muni would have a large knobbly tyre and longer cranks, not as fast but more torque.

I have a Qu-ax 29" which I use as my all rounder. 145mm cranks, 2.2 kenda karma tyre and a mudguard. Have done 20+ mile rides on it(not comfy on the standard saddle). I have also done quite technical muni on it. Not recomended for extremely technical muni or extremely long rides but I find It to be a great all rounder and it is my main uni at the moment.(until my Nimbus muni arrives:D)

I have a Nimbus Touring 29er and have fitted it with a Kenda Small Block 8 tire. It has been great for tearing up the dirt trails but I do wonder if I am abusing it and shortening its life span.:o

I think I disagree about the KH on the road. Sure the frame is light, but everything else is as heavy it can be. KH29 is definitely not designed for road use- it is overkill heavy- moments, wide rim, wide tire, metal pedals, all excess weight. The Nimbus 29er has a narrower/lighter rim suited to narrow tires. I have 89mm cranks on my Nimbus 29er with a 700x35c tire, and it is much faster than the KH on the road but it is a bit hard to crank on very steep hills. I think 36" is better on the road than 28/29" so I got my 29er for offroad use.

The Freestyler 24 will tolerate some stair riding and small drops, but it is likely to cause premature crank/hub failure, as it is mainly designed for flat use.

No matter which one you decide to get, I recommend you use a 2009 or 2010 KH saddle and maybe even the stiffener plate because having a stiff seat helps road and offroad riding. The worst thing about my 29er is the flexy seat.

The nimbus 29 touring uni also may not take as wide a tire as a muni.

As far as I know the frame is identical between the two, and so they will both fit “wide” 29er tires. You probably won’t get away with quite as low pressure with the narrower rim, but with the bigger wheel you can roll over a lot without going to low pressures.

Ah, does the current touring frame have more clearance than the old, round-crown frame?

Probably not, but the old round crown frame fit a Big Apple 29x2.35 which is one of the largest 29er tires for crown clearance. Somewhere there is a chart floating around that shows dimensions of various tires. Generally speaking if that tire will fit anything else will.

I didn’t realize they brought back the Nimbus 2 29er frame. I used to have one before they put the brake mounts on, and UDC told me at the time that they both fit the same tires. I would suspect that it’s still true for the new version.

My Nimbus Touring 29er came with a Duro tire that is 2.3 (I think). The SB8 is smaller. I run high pressure so it never bulges enough to hit the frame though I have tried hopping with lower pressure and it still had clearance. I don’t know the old frame so I can’t compare. The frame seems like it should be pretty tough.

You have less clearance with high pressure than low pressure. Have you ever blown up a balloon?

Some lightweight tires will actually be wider at lower pressures. This happens if the tread was made flat it will resist stretching a bit and not round out all the way until you get to a higher pressure. Once they round out they will start to “balloon” a bit at even higher pressures.

Tires that are made round (as far as I know all wire bead tires and a fair amount of folding bead tires) will get wider as you pump them up.

Well, according to UDC-US, the Nimbus 29 Touring is 14 lbs while the KH29 is listed at 13.6 lbs. Hmm…I actually thought there was greater difference. But anyway, do you think a Nimbus 29er would be faster than a KH29 with the same tire and cranks?

In any case, to the OP who is seeking a 29er for the road, with the added stipulation that it will withstand drops and off-road and such: If you have the cash, it’s tough to beat the KH29.

Is there a lighter 29er? Maybe? Is there one even close to the same weight that is as burly as the KH? Probably not, (except for maybe the Triton?)

Yeah, that chart (which saskatchewanian helpfully posted) helped me pick out a new tire. However, I suspect that a more square-profile, wide tire would cause problems at the corners even if the crown clearance was adequate.

Last time I looked at my local unicycle.com the limiting factor for the nimbus 29er was a single walled rim not the much stronger double walled rim used in most unicycles now.


Ahh. ok let me be more clear. I would expect a lower pressure tire to bulge more upon landing from a hop or drop whereas a high pressure tire will change shape less upon impact. I think the level of fatness would remain pretty consistent otherwise.:wink:

On a drop, the tire bulges at the bottom, not at the frame; it snaps back into place as it rolls up.

I have two unis with very tight tire/frame tolerance, and their tires are definitely bigger at higher pressure.

I have a Nimbus 29" touring. I have added 125/150 KH cranks, Coker Pi Bar, and a WTB Nanoraptor 2.1 tire. I use it in the 125 setting for riding around town/campus, and the 150 setting on weekends for muni. I don’t do any drops over a foot or so, but have used it for muni consistently for about a year. Also taken it down many stairs, usually not more than an 8-set. No damage, or signs thereof, so far.

If the option had been available when I was in the market for a 29er, I would have gone with the Nimbus 29 muni from UDC. Seems like a great compromise between price, good components, and versatility.